Jeremy over at Mountain West Conference Connection (www.mwcfootball.wordpress.com) was so kind to answer PWtW's tough questions.
Here are his thoughts entering this Saturday's game:
1. On offense, your new quarterback Omar Clayton appears to be having a lot of success (9:0 TD/INT). Do you expect to see the Rebels come out and try and establish the run with he and Summers or do you go to the air and test the young defensive backs?
Coach Mike Sanford always looks to establish the run early in the game with their option offense. Frank Summers is a bruising back who is tough to take down once he breaks through the first level. Do expect Omar Clayton to attack this Nevada secondary, UNLV has three very good receivers in Casey Flair, Ryan Wolfe, and Freshman Phillip Payne who has five touchdowns. Clayton has had success throwing the ball because he has not had to force too many passes, because of this type of offense is one that usually has four players out as eligible receivers to throw to.
2. When Nevada has the ball, what do you do to stop the Pistol offense? Is there any one player or play that has you concerned from what you've seen of the Rebel defense so far?
The Rebels had trouble against Utah which runs a similar offense with a lot passing and many receivers, and they struggled in the second half. Pressure is the best way to disrupt any type of passing attack, because if the quarterback only has a few seconds to throw and unable to make it through the progression that can cause a quarterback to force the ball. UNLV does have trouble defending the deep ball which is why applying pressure to the quarterback is a must for UNLV to try to slow the Pistol offense.
3. With three wins in four games already this year, you've passed the win total from any of your past three seasons. What is the biggest difference in this years team?
The team finally has a quarterback that has been in the system for more then one year with Omar Clayton and he is a mobile quarterback which is needed when running the spread option. Also, the team has more offensive play makers, which allows the team to be more balanced and not predictable.
4. How critical is this game to your bowl chances and for the rest of the season?
Every home game is critical for bowl eligibility, since UNLV has very little success on the road.
5. For those fans who are not familiar with Las Vegas, where is the best place to celebrate a victory (or drink away a defeat should such a thing happen) after the game?
Well I do not live in Vegas, but an In-N-Out Burger is always tasty.
Thanks for the reply Jeremy!
About the only comment I have is that, although indeed very tasty, I don't think win or lose I will be visiting an In-N-Out Burger. A big win could call for some serious partying at one of the many way-too-over-priced casino night clubs on the strip while a loss could draw a drunken stupor at Hard Rock or Hooters (combined with a significant loss of money at the blackjack tables to complete the weekends misery.)